KUCHING, Aug 3 — Former state second finance minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh today urged the state government to give full and transparent disclosure of the settlement terms with Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) on the state sales tax (SST).
He asked if the settlement included recognition that the Petroleum Development Act 1974 (PDA) and the Territorial Seas Act 2012 (TSA) are now valid and applicable to Sarawak, notwithstanding the fact that they were never passed in the State Legislative Assembly.
“It is imperative for the government to reveal the extent of any concession it had to make (if any) in return for collecting payment of SST which is rightfully owed to Sarawak,” he said.
Wong, who is also Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president, was responding to reports earlier today that Petronas is withdrawing its appeal in the Court of Appeal against the Kuching High Court’s ruling that Sarawak is entitled to collect sales tax on petroleum products.
The state government, at the same time, also withdrew its cross-appeal over jurisdiction issue of the High Court on the SST.
A three-man bench of the Court of Appeal comprising justices Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, Datuk Hadhariah Syed Ismail and Datuk Mohd Sofian Abd Razak struck out the appeal and cross-appeal and ordered each party to bear their own costs.
Wong said PSB and the people of Sarawak would oppose any concession being given to Petronas in return for payment of SST which Petronas owes under the law.
“PSB also calls for full disclosure of the amount that Petronas has agreed to pay and whether such amount is consistent with the budget figures tabled by the state Finance Minister and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg for the preceding years’ budget,” he said.